How To Saddle Stitch Leather

Saddle stitch is among the most popular ways of stitching leather by hand and for the right reason. To begin with, it is the most durable way to stitch leather because it locks each stitch perfectly.

If one of the stitches breaks, you only have to re-do one stitch rather than stitching the entire line. So how do you do saddle stitch leather?

Hand sewing leather is easier than you would think. All you need is good tools, strong hands, and a little bit of patience. And with regular practice, you will be able to make perfect saddle stitching on your leather material.

In the article, we will be going over the steps you must follow to do saddle stitch leather.

How To Saddle Stitch Leather?

Start by evenly marking the stitching line from the edge. Moreover, you should also mark the hole prior to sewing.

To get the best saddle stitches, start by creating holes in an evenly spaced length and keep the distance between ? and 3/8 inch. To make this hole, you can use an awl.

Thereafter, push the needle through one of the needles and then pass the needle through the second hole from the back. To complete the stitch, bring the needle on the back from the front using the same hole.

Steps To Create Saddle Stitch Leather

Step 1. Gather The Necessary Tools

To get saddle stitch leather, you will need some special tools. You can get these tools at your local shops or online as well. Following are the things that you should keep with you:

  • Leather needle
  • A sharp scissors or x-acto knife
  • Waxed thread
  • Stitching pony or clamps to hold the leather piece together

Step 2. Prepping The Leather

For the next step, you will need to prepare the leather for sewing. To do that, you should start by punching holes. After that, you will need to thread the needle onto each strand to the waxed thread.

Step 3. Begin Your Saddle Stitch

Although you can sew and hold the material with your hands, it is easier to get the job done when you use a clamp or stitching pony. Start by threading a needle through the closest hole and make sure you hold both the needles up.

Make sure there is an equal amount of thread on both sides of the leather. So you will have one needle to the left and one to your right.

Step 4. Start The Saddle Stitching

When you are saddle stitching, you need to behave in a consistent motion. Ensure to start the next stitch with the same hand and insert the next in the same manner.

Once you have pushed the thread through the first hole, push the needle in your left hand through the next hole. Pull your needle through while pulling the thread in the opposite direction.

Subsequently, push the needle in the right hand into the same hole from behind the left thread. To get the perfect stitch, place the second needle through the hole behind your first thread.

If you place it in the front, it will get in the way of the next stitch making the upcoming stitches bumpy and uneven.

At the end of this process, pull both the needle away from the fabric to secure the thread tight. This will ensure the edges of the leather are clean and close.

Step 5. Continue The Process

Use the same rhythm for every stitch until you are done with the process. And when you are close to the end of the thread or the stitching line, it is time to finish the sewing.

Step 6. Getting The Perfect Finish

For this step, push both the thread through the last leather hole in the stitching line. Thereafter, you will have to backstitch, just like you would do on your sewing machine. Take the left needle and push it into the hole that is behind the one it was already in.

Moreover, continue the same process with the right needle. In the beginning, it can be tricky to do this process but using a stitching pony or pliers can be helpful.

After every backstitch, make sure you pull the thread tightly. If you don’t do this, the stitches will appear larger than the ones that you have done earlier.

Step 7. Cut Off The Extra Thread

This is the step where you will need the x-acto. This tool will give your stitching a clean finish. Hold the end of the thread and cut it off using this knife. Lastly, using your thumbs, firmly press the tiny end of the thread against the stitching.

Why Hand Sewing Matter?

Many people still prefer hand sewing for a lot of reasons; below are some of them:

1. It Is Reliable

We have all experienced times when we are starting a new project only to realize that there are no needles left. Or, the machine broke down while you were trying to finish your project.

These issues are less likely to occur when hand sewing. The fewer variables in hand sewing make it a more reliable choice.

But when hand sewing, make sure you use ergonomic furniture and take regular breaks. This will make sure that you do not overly stress your arms, hands, back, and neck.

2. Inexpensive

To stitch on the machine, you will need to buy a sewing machine, a good table, bobbin storage, bobbins, and machine needles. Not to forget all the things that you will need to keep the machine up and running.

Evidently, you will have to make a good investment before you start sewing on a machine. On the other hand, with hand sewing, all you need is some thread, pair of scissors, a pack of needles, and get on with sewing.

There is no need to pay further costs for maintenance.

3. More Control

Imagine you are sewing on your machine, and all of a sudden, you hear a crunching sound of something in-fabric-like getting under the needle.

You have accidentally run over the pin that you missed removing. The damage is already done before you could do anything. This sort of thing never happens when you are hand sewing.

You do not have to juggle with different adjustments, setting or changing the thread tension now and again. You only have to control your hands to get a flawless corner, intricate details, and elegant gathering.

4. Versatile

Whether you want a blind hem, a straight stitch, or a feather-stitch, you can get all of these with hand sewing. You can easily work on different materials, including fine silk, heavy leather, slippery vinyl, etc.

On the other hand, with a sewing machine, you have to readjust the settings, switch out the foot and hope the machine has embroidery features that you have.

5. Quiet

The sewing machine may be fast, but not most people are not a big fan of the noise. However, in hand sewing, you can sew without disturbing others. Moreover, you can also take the sewing out on the patio to work while enjoying nature.

What Is The Difference Between Perfect Bound And Saddle Stitch?

Perfect bound and saddle stitch are both ways to bind books and magazines. In saddle stitching, the pages are collected together and folded to staple along the crease.

On the other hand, perfect binding does not need folding. The pages are gathered and glued together along the spine. The cover is applied to the book or magazine during the same process.

What Do You Stitch Leather With?

Avoid using cotton thread to sew leather because the tannins in leather will rot the cotton over time. Instead, you should choose between nylon and polyester.

To work with leather, you need heavier stitches to get the right finishing. In fact, you can also use leather thread, which is specially made for this purpose.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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